A distinguished microbiologist explains the importance of symbiosis - where different organisms contribute to each other's support - and how this is changing our view of life on Earth Lynn Margulis is an ardent supporter of the Gaia hypothesis: the idea that due to the finely balanced interdependence of all life forms, the planet functions as a single, giant cell. She argues that no organism is an island, and that all are linked to each other. Written with tremendous zest and authority The Symbiotic Planet traces the evolution of Earth from the origins of life and sex to the emergence of 'hyperseas' and an eerie future she describes for humanity.
Bringing together ecology, evolutionary moral psychology, and environmental ethics, J. Baird Callicott counters the narrative of blame and despair that prevails in contemporary discussions of climate ethics and offers a fresh, more optimistic approach. Whereas other environmental ethicists limit themselves to what Callicott calls Rational Individualism in discussing the problem of climate change only to conclude that, essentially, there is little hope that anything will be done in the face of its "perfect moral storm" (in Stephen Gardiner's words), Callicott refuses to accept this view. Instead, he encourages us to look to the Earth itself, and consider the crisis on grander spatial and temporal scales, as we have failed to in the past. Callicott supports this theory by exploring and enhancing Aldo Leopold's faint sketch of an Earth ethic in "Some Fundamentals of Conservation in the Southwest," a seldom-studied text from the early days of environmental ethics that was written in 1923 but not published until 1979 after the environmental movement gathered strength.
Education, Identity and the Post-Work Political Imagination
Author: David J. Blacker
Pubpsher: John Hunt Publishing
In 1960, Paul Goodman argued that the Fordist system that treated people as mere cogs in a machine had created a profound unhappiness in young people and in American society as a whole. More than half a century later, professor David Blacker recognizes that decades of neoliberalism have pushed young people beyond unhappiness and into a collective identity crisis. Overall, Americans no longer feel needed to do jobs that had previously anchored them in society and are becoming disconnected and purposeless. The proliferation of new identities, based not on work but on consumption, is symptomatic of neoliberalism and its hyper-commodification and deregulation of everyday life.
We are in the midst of a revolution. It is a scientific revolution built upon the tools of molecular biology, with which we probe and prod the living world in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Need to track a bacterium at the root of a hospital outbreak? No problem: the offending germ's complete genetic profile can be obtained in 24 hours. We insert human DNA into E. coli bacteria to produce our insulin. It is natural to look at biotechnology in the 21st century with a mix of wonder and fear. But biotechnology is not as 'unnatural' as one might think. All living organisms use the same molecular processes to replicate their genetic material and the same basic code to 'read' their genes. The similarities can be seen in their DNA. Here, John Archibald shows how evolution has been 'plugging-and-playing' with the subcellular components of life from the very beginning and continues to do so today. For evidence, we need look no further than the inner workings of our own cells. Molecular biology has allowed us to gaze back more than three billion years, revealing the microbial mergers and acquisitions that underpin the development of complex life. One Plus One Equals One tells the story of how we have come to this realization and its implications.
Release on 2004-04-16 | by Cheris Kramarae,Dale Spender
Global Women's Issues and Knowledge
Author: Cheris Kramarae,Dale Spender
For a full list of entries and contributors, sample entries, and more, visit the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women website. Featuring comprehensive global coverage of women's issues and concerns, from violence and sexuality to feminist theory, the Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women brings the field into the new millennium. In over 900 signed A-Z entries from US and Europe, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and the Middle East, the women who pioneered the field from its inception collaborate with the new scholars who are shaping the future of women's studies to create the new standard work for anyone who needs information on women-related subjects.
One of the leading textbooks in its field, Bringing Fossils to Life applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics, bridging the gap between purely theoretical paleobiological textbooks and those that describe only invertebrate paleobiology and that emphasize cataloguing live organisms instead of dead objects. For this third edition Donald R. Prothero has revised the art and research throughout, expanding the coverage of invertebrates and adding a discussion of new methodologies and a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.
Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.
Release on 2012 | by Peter H. Kahn,Patricia H. Hasbach
Science, Totems, and the Technological Species
Author: Peter H. Kahn,Patricia H. Hasbach
Pubpsher: MIT Press
We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being. Our actions reflectthis when we turn to beloved pets for companionship, vacation in spots of natural splendor, or spendhours working in the garden. Yet we are also a technological species and have been since wefashioned tools out of stone. Thus one of this century's central challenges is to embrace ourkinship with a more-than-human world -- "our totemic self" -- and integrate that kinship with ourscientific culture and technological selves. This book takes on that challengeand proposes a reenvisioned ecopsychology. Contributors consider such topics as the innate tendencyfor people to bond with local place; a meaningful nature language; the epidemiological evidence forthe health benefits of nature interaction; the theory and practice of ecotherapy; Gaia theory;ecovillages; the neuroscience of perceiving natural beauty; and sacred geography. Taken together,the essays offer a vision for human flourishing and for a more grounded and realistic environmentalpsychology. The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.
In this extensively revised and enlarged edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on the increasingly radical changes in nature and science — from global warming to the science behind mother/baby interactions — and examines what they mean for humankind’s place in the world. The book begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy. The author explains how people are genetically programmed to crave the company of other species, and how people suffer enormously when they fail to live in harmony with them. Suzuki analyzes those deep spiritual needs, rooted in nature, that are a crucial component of a loving world. Drawing on his own experiences and those of others who have put their beliefs into action, The Sacred Balance is a powerful, passionate book with concrete suggestions for creating an ecologically sustainable, satisfying, and fair future by rediscovering and addressing humanity’s basic needs.